In 2019 I bought some really good color pencils: Caran D'Ache Luminance set of 76 pencils and Faber-Castell Polychromos set of 120 pencils, which are both the biggest sets within their brands. I had read good reviews about their lightfastness, vibrance and softness, and they both work a little bit better than the other in certain areas of a color pencil work, so I bought them both to use them together. They're really expensive, but worth it based on my early experiences with them. Talking of which, this is officially my first color pencil portrait... ever. I don't remember what I did as school work 20 years ago with some cheap pencils. Definitely not portraits, because I've always found people difficult to draw. I still do, but I like a challenge, and I want to improve with this very unforgiving but beautiful medium. So I did a portrait of Hallam without all the make-up he usually sports. He's quite fetching au naturel, if I may say so. The portrait turned alright too, even though I'm not totally happy with it. And it's actually mixed-media work, not a total color pencil work. Yes, I cheated! The background was such a pain to do that I did a layer with water colors. And I fixed some lost highlights with a white gel pen and acrylic paint. I had reference photos for the ear and the chest, as I wanted them to look a bit more realistic than they do on the doll. The ear turned out fine, but I'm not so sure about the chest, as none of my references showed the collar bones and muscles exactly from this angle. So it may not be totally anatomically correct. Hallam as a character is supposed to have a pretty good likeness in my books compared to the doll, although I will describe him taller, just like I always attempt to portray the doll in photographs, too. He's muscly and tall, but not overly buff. More muscly and tall than Elliot. More like an actual model. Or more something else. I only had the doll and my own sketch for reference when I did the face. I'm very happy with the face. The hair turned alright too, even though it came totally from my imagination. I made the earring slightly smaller than it is on the doll. Overall I think it's decent for my first ever color pencil portrait, and I'm excited to start my next portrait! I plan to illustrate all my book covers, and I'm considering of doing them with color pencils instead of my first choice, oil colors. I have already done sketches for the first one. But before really starting to work on that I will practice with some random portraits of my characters. This first one took 30-40 hours to do within several weeks, so the next one is also going to take its time once I get started on it.